Surprising and fabulous wedding traditions around the world pop up often in unexpected and royal places.
Take Kate Middleton’s bridal bouquet. She carried out two wedding traditions in one when she included a sprig of myrtle in that bouquet.
Myrtle in the bouquet is a Welsh wedding tradition. The bride divvies it out to her bridesmaids. If it blooms, the bridesmaid is soon to marry.
Myrtle in the bouquet is also the royal tradition and has been since 1840, starting with Queen Victoria. The royal-bouquet myrtle always comes from a myrtle bush in Queen Victoria’s garden!
There’s more to wedding traditions than just the bride throwing a bouquet. Some are unique to one culture, while others cross a few.
To give you a taste of what’s out there, we’ve put together seven of our favorite wedding traditions.
Keep reading to learn more about a wedding your attending, to find a fun tradition to incorporate into your wedding, or just because these are fascinating.
1. Hide and Seek With Groom Shoes
What better way to bring families together than with a wedding day game of hide and seek with the groom’s shoes?
This game — called Joota Chupai — is a wedding tradition in India that ushers the two families into one and blesses the union with laughs and amusement through life.
When the groom steps into the wedding ceremony room, he takes off his shoes. The bride’s family nabs the shoes and hides them for the groom’s family to find.
The groom can’t leave the ceremony until he has his shoes. If his side of the family can’t find the stolen shoes, the bride’s family asks for a ransom of gifts, desserts, or money if they want them back.
2. Arrows of Love
The Cherub of Love Cupid has taught the grooms of Yugar China well when it comes to how to secure everlasting love.
These sharpshooting grooms line up their arrows in their bows and shoot their brides! Mind you, the arrowheads are broken off, so it’s more like getting a friendly poke with a stick.
The groom has to hit the bride with three arrows and then break the arrows and the bow in half to ensure love.
3. Money on the Dress Dance
With her dance card full, the stunning bride gets swept off her feet time and again by friends and family. Whenever someone gets a magical moment with the bride on the dance floor on her special day, the bride receives a bill of money pinned to the skirt of her wedding dress!
This fun and practical Cuban tradition helps the newlyweds afford everything about their wedding.
4. Las Arras Unity Wedding Coins
The Ancient Romans knew how to bring spirituality and romance into holy matrimony with the tradition of breaking coins. The bride and groom broke their silver or gold pieces in half to symbolize the promise to unite.
Today, the tradition continues, especially in Catholic cultures, like Latino, Hispanic, and Filipino. Instead of breaking coins, 13 special wedding coins are gathered in a decorated container or bag and presented by the coin bearer to the priest or wedding officiant, who blesses them.
Then, the groom gives the coins to the bride to symbolize how he will take care of her. She accepts them, symbolizing how she will honor what gifts they have.
Like in ancient times, the coins symbolize the couple’s promise to be united as one.
This is one of those fun and meaningful wedding traditions that’s making its way into ceremonies around the world. Read more here about ideas for beautiful and memorable coins and ideas.
5. Lucky Dishes
Before the wedding, friends and family show up in front of the home or homes of the bride and groom and do some dish slinging. This means they gather breakable kitchenware — cups, saucers, plates, bowls, and other china and breakables — and smash it on the ground before the humble abodes.
This German tradition is called Polterabend and brings the best of luck to the couple about to wed. The evening usually ends with a fabulous party.
6. Honey for Happiness
First, come the broken plate and the flatbread in this joyful Armenian wedding tradition. After the ceremony, the newlyweds head over to the wedding reception.
The plate is broken to bring them good luck in their marriage. Then, the mother of the groom hands them the flatbread and the honey. It’s lavash bread.
They put the flatbread on their shoulders to keep the evil spirits away.
Next, they dip spoons in the honey and eat it to bring them happiness.
7. One Foot for Fairies
We all know that the Irish like to jig, but did you know that Irish brides always keep one foot on the ground when dancing with their new husband at their wedding?
This Irish custom is all about those darn fairies! Folklore says that if you don’t look out, a fairy will come and sweep the bride off her feet, and not in a good way. These are mischievous fairies!
Hence the one-foot-on-the-dance-floor custom. Heels on the ground, Ladies!
Which Wedding Traditions Around the World Will You Try?
Now that you know some of the fabulous wedding traditions around the world, you’re ready for that upcoming wedding you’re attending or adding some fresh fun to your own!
If you’re planning a big event, keep perusing our blog for food and drink ideas. We also share travel tips and getaway ideas if you’re ready to jump in full force to other cultures and adventures.